New England Law Review
v. 47 | 477
ob right clicks, drags, and pastes.
These three seemingly innocuousactions gave the world instant access to that content.
With anInternet connection and a click of a mouse an individual has theworld at his fingertips.
Arguably the most significant societal change inthe twenty-first century is the widespread, pervasive use of the WorldWide Web in our daily lives.
Universal Internet accessibility has been thecatalyst for monumental innovations in academia, business, entertainment,and most recently, political regime change.
For all of this change and ability, society must remember the advicegiven to a folk hero who was no stranger to surfing the web: “With greatpower comes great responsibility.”
In the Internet context, this translatesto a legal responsibility for how a person’s web activity affects others.
Thesame Internet universality that has driven change and toppleddictatorships also poses the ultimate legal question to individuals and businesses that use the Internet: where can I be sued?
This question is not exclusive to the Internet. Laypersons and attorneysalike have asked it throughout America’s history.
Since 1877, theinterpretation and expansion of personal jurisdiction—where an individualor business can be sued—has been the subject of many Supreme Courtdecisions.
The creation of the Internet provided this continually
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note 7, at 150.
, Asahi Metal Indus. Co. v. Superior Court of Cal., 480 U.S. 102, 104 (1987)(holding that, in balancing the heavy burden on a foreign defendant with minimal interests ofthe plaintiff and the forum state, exercising personal jurisdiction over the defendant would be